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NRSC vs. Thornaby (A) Thurs 10th Mar - Match Report

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Middlesbrough played Thornaby in the North Riding Senior Cup semi-final after the pitch was given a check and mark of approval by the FA after heavy downpours on Wednesday.


Thornaby have a few Middlesbrough links, they’re managed by Paul Edwards whose two sons came through the Academy system, Kieran a former England U16 captains the Thornaby side and Curtis plays in Sweden now. Former Boro academy players Rocky Andrews and Theo Furness were also selected whilst Nathan Porritt and Jason Honeyman have made appearances for the side early in the season.


The pitch despite being passed fit was very heavy and cut up easily making it a tough game for a Boro side more used to the flat pitches at Rockliffe but they equipped themselves well considering.


Boro started quickly and young Austria forward Arnel Jakupovic found Callum Cooke with a long cross field pass but Cooke’s shot was blocked. It was all Boro early on and Brazilian Joao Morelli was the next to have a chance, he latched onto a loose ball on the edge of the Thornaby box before driving a low shot which Thornaby Keeper Michael Duff was equal to.


Morelli was the right man in the right spot moments later, the ball; was worked left to the overlapping Nathan McGinley who fired a low cross just past the stretching Duff and Morelli was there at the back post to stab the ball home!


GOAL BORO! – 0-1 Morelli


It could have been 2-0 moments later when Morelli played in Jakupovic, he was in the 18 yard box on the right side with the keeper coming out to meet him, the forward played a deft dink over the keeper whom just got a hand to it to keep it out. Next the advancing Callum Johnson cut into the box on the right and he squared it to Jordan Jowers who turned well and fired a shot low towards the Thornaby goal only to see Duff keep it out with his legs.


At the other end Thornaby had a good attack and were unlucky not to be awarded a corner. Richard Walker played a delightful right to left ball and found Stephen Morrison, the full back took down the ball well and hot a low shot across Coddington in the Boro goal, the young keeper seemed to get a palm to it which just took it away from Gary Mitchell on the far post but the referee signalled for a goal kick.


Boro did double their lead just after the 20 minute mark, Callum Johnson crossed to Jakupovic whose shot was saved by Duff but Morelli was there to tap home despite to protestations of the home side for offside.


GOAL BORO – 0-2 Morelli.


The young Brazilian who is at Boro as part of the link up with Juninho’s side Ituano could have completed his hat trick in the first half hour, Joe Wheatley won the ball through a superb tackle and Boro broke, Alex Pattison floated a ball over to Morelli who found himself one on one with Duff but could only blast the ball into the side netting.


Thornaby were next to attack, a ball swung from right to left found Bligh whose shot across goal was tapped in at the back post by Grant Mitchell.


GOAL THORNABY – 1-2 Mitchell


Boro were straight back into it, and with the half coming to an end nearly added another, Joe Wheatley fierce in the tackle got the ball wide to Johnson, he left it though for Morelli who crossed low finding Pattison but he pulled his shot wide.

The next chance was started at the back, Boro man mountain Matthew Elsdon flighted a ball forward towards Jakupovic, he was beaten in the air but the ball landed centrally and after a touch Morelli hit the bouncing ball into the bottom corner of Duff’s goal! What a strike to get your hat trick!


GOAL BORO – 1-3 Morelli (Hat Trick)  


Boro broke from the next Thornaby attack, Morelli had the ball with two men to his right and one left, he chose left and McGinley pulled the ball across goal and out for a goal kick.

With the last chance of the half Jakupovic beat duff at his near post but saw the ball rebound away safely.


Half Time Thornaby 1 Middlesbrough 3


The second half kicked off and it was straight into the action for Boro, within a minute of the restart Morelli struck a low hopeful shot from 18 yards, Duff who had been excellent all night will be disappointed as the ball snuck under him into the net.


GOAL BORO – 1-4 Morelli


It was all Boro for the next few moments, Jakupovic went round Duff but saw his shot cleared off the line and in the action afterwards Pattison hit one just wide.


Boro Sub – Cooke off, McAloon on. Jakupovic off, Jones on.

Thornaby Sub – Bligh off, Furness on. Ruddy off, Butterworth on.


Thornaby Sub – Walker off, Rowe on.

Boro Sub – Pattison off, Kitching on.


Jones was straight into the action tormenting the Thornaby right back with his pace and directness. Morelli could have had a 5th but after a great Jones run and cross Duff got a fingertip to it and knocked it off the head of the Brazilian who would have had a simple header from half a yard out!

It was from a move on the Boro left where Kitching found himself with the ball in the box, he turned in, then out and back in before hitting a low shot past Duff at his near post!


GOAL BORO – 1-5 Kitching.


Kitching had a late free kick well saved and Theo Furness went down under minimal contact late on in the Boro box but the referee waves away the appeals for a penalty.


Full time Thornaby 1 (Mitchell) Middlesbrough 5 (Morelli 4, Kitching)

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